By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – More than 9,000 factories, farms and workshops breached public health regulations and environmental laws over the last two months, according to the Ministry of Environment.

During July and August, the majority of the 9,790 violations detected by ministry inspectors and environment Rangers were committed by factories emitting excessive fumes, car wash stations, illegal loggers and farms using untreated organic fertilisers, according to a report issued by the ministry Wednesday.

“A total of 40 businesses were shut down over the past two months, the majority of which were in Amman, Zarqa and Balqa,” Rangers Department Director Colonel Fathi Faouri said in the report.

In addition, 3,655 factories and workshops were issued tickets for operating without a licence, while 111 were ticketed for littering and burning solid waste, mainly in Amman, Zarqa and Ruseifa, the report indicated.

Seven sandblasting infringements were also registered in Amman and Madaba.

According to ministry regulations, sandblasters must use wet sand and close buildings off with canvas to limit the spread of dust.

With less than 1 per cent of the country’s terrain covered with forests, authorities continued to struggle to stop illegal logging, registering 11 violations during the period in question.

The Rangers and ministry teams also inspected 13,132 vehicles during July and August as part of an ongoing campaign to curb air pollution by intensifying vehicle inspections, particularly those emitting excessive fumes.

A total of 2,433 vehicles were fined for emitting excessive fumes, Faouri said.

According to environmental regulations, cars emitting excessive fumes are fined JD10-JD20 while motorists found littering are fined JD20.

Meanwhile, authorities in the Jordan Valley seized 48 vehicles loaded with 140 tonnes of untreated fertilisers as part of an ongoing crackdown on the use of the substance, which attracts domestic flies due to its high percentage of humidity. The fertilisers were confiscated and sent to an organic fertiliser plant in Deir Alla.